Boss Garry Monk believes Birmingham were the victims of an injustice as his 10 men scrapped for a hard-earned point at free-scoring Brentford.
The Blues chief was sent to the stands after reacting when Maikel Kieftenbeld saw red for what Monk insisted was little more than a “coming-together” with Neal Maupay in front of the dugouts at Griffin Park.
“It happened right in front of me and it was completely the wrong decision,” Monk said. “I thought the opposition player would be booked for feigning injury so to see a red card was a complete shock.
“After 23 years in football I know something when I see it, but I don’t want to talk about that because the main part is my players who showed unbelievable character against the second highest scorers in the league.”
Former Chelsea player Josh McEachran’s first senior goal cancelled out Birmingham defender Michael Morrison’s opener in a game where the visitors’ defence showed great resilience.
Monk said: “Brentford are a fantastic team but we more than matched them. We took control of the first half and took the lead and their goal came against the run of play. To come here and weather the first 15 minutes and then defend like we did with 10 men makes it a very good point for us.”
Monk says he will appeal the Kieftenbeld sending-off, awarded after the fourth official’s intervention, “because it was 100 per cent not a red card”.
“It was a coming-together that didn’t warrant the reaction it got, but the main part is what the players did before and after that,” Monk said.
Frustrated Brentford boss Dean Smith said his side lacked “that little bit of quality” and admitted: ”We probably didn’t do enough to score another goal.”
Smith defended striker Maupay’s part in the sending-off incident, adding: “I’ve looked at the monitor and the lad has raised his hand to him. Is it enough for him to go down? Only Neal Maupay knows that, but don’t blame our player because the fourth official saw what happened and he was two yards away.”
Brentford’s stuttering home form continued as Birmingham became the third team in a row to stifle Smith’s free-passing outfit.
The home boss said: “We’re possibly becoming victims of our own success because we can’t control the officials.
“It was a strange game. I’m not sure they came to give us a really good game of football. There were a lot of niggly fouls and delays and perhaps sometimes you have to credit the opposition who defended deep and were very forceful, so a draw was probably a fair result.”
Smith defended his decision to leave regular first-choice goalkeeper Daniel Bentley out of the starting 11, with Luke Daniels coming in, adding: “He was gutted but he accepted my decision. He has made a few mistakes over the last month and if outfield players make mistakes you change it.”